Release: UCalgary student calls for delay to tuition increase ignored

June 18, 2021  |   Found in News

CALGARY – The University of Calgary Board of Governors voted today to increase tuition in Engineering and Medicine by more than thirty per cent and fifteen percent, respectively. Increases would take effect in fall of 2022. Student leaders raised concerns about the consultation process the university is required to do by the provincial government.

The Alberta Tuition Framework sets out the requirement to consult with student associations, like the SU, and students in affected programs over a ten-month window from September to June. Eight of these months occur over the academic year. It is disappointing that the university made a choice to rush this process by only doing true consultation in the final eight weeks and only after students had left campus for the summer.

While senior university officials continue to maintain that consultations were adequate, the SU and students disagree. Students were surveyed in March or April but were not provided any context, details, or costing prior to the summer break. This means that students did not know what they were being consulted on.

Students were not given any details as to the cost increase of the proposal or even informed that the university was looking at exceptional increases until early-to-mid May, well after students had left campus for summer break.

The SU maintains that the university could have received student support for these proposals over their shortened timeline had they conducted consultations that provided context and details to students in the surveys and emails sent in March and April.

“The university has ten months every year, from September to the end of June, to consult students and put together a proposal. It is unbelievable that after only revealing the detailed proposal in the final eight weeks of the window that the university feels students have been adequately consulted. This feels a lot like a student not completing assignments through the year and looking to nail it on the final exam in order to pass.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

The SU will now advocate to Alberta Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides to delay the process so that adequate consultation can occur with the detailed proposal when students return to class in the fall.

“While university administration appears to have no problem with the rushed and incomplete nature of the consultations, we are hopeful that the Minister expects a higher standard. The SU calls on the Minister to review the proposal and direct the university to conduct fulsome consultations.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown

External Communications Specialist

University of Calgary Students’ Union

Cell: 403-560-0577